Unless excused, a person had to walk the picket line to receive a strike check. A week’s striking was worth only $200, no matter how much one’s normal pay was.
A strike had been percolating for weeks before 2,600 workers from 11 unions at the Examiner, the Chronicle and the San Francisco Newspaper Agency walked off the job Nov. 1, 1994. Four days of round-the-clock negotiations hit a logjam over salary and job security, but by then, a solid structure had been formed for a strike.
There were serious conflicts in the pressroom and distribution system, and the mailers (by this time we had figured out these were the people who assembled the papers and preprinted inserts into bundles for delivery) still had legitimate issues twenty-six years after the 1968 strike.
By Larry Hatfield
The 1994 strike was remarkable for a variety of reasons, the most profound of which may have been that it was a seminal event in the development of online media. Both sides made significant contributions.
We are putting together a committee to decide how we’d like to honor the 20th anniversary of the San Francisco newspaper strike. Please volunteer.